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Grateful Dead Live at Alumni Stadium, U. Mass. on 1979-05-12

Topics Live concert

Jack Straw, They Love Each Other, Me & My Uncle-> Big River, Tennessee Jed, Minglewood Blues, Stagger Lee, Looks Like Rain, Deal Don't Ease Me In, Samson & Delilah, Friend Of The Devil, Terrapin Station-> Playin' In The Band-> Drums-> Not Fade Away-> Stella Blue-> Good Lovin', E:Shakedown Street-> E: One More Saturday Night

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Alumni Stadium, U. Mass.
Location Amherst, MA

Source Audience Recording
Lineage NAK CM700, Sony 158SD
Taped by Barry Glassberg
Transferred by John Steinthal


NAK CM700, Sony 158SD Recorded by Barry Glassberg. A:D conversion by John Steinthal via Mark Cohen, encoded by Matt Vernon


Reviewer: Gr8tflBub - - June 9, 2015
Subject: It definelty Looked Like Rain....
Bobby looked up at and pointed to the wave of black clouds beginning to cover Alumni stadium as he sang "Looks Like Rain". It poured about 5 minutes after the concert ended. Amazing!
No forgetting the Hells Angel bikee and the shirtless dude chugging a gallon plastic container of beer.. the crowed roared as he hurled moments after.. Gr8tflBub - Springfield College - 81'
Reviewer: cibersis - - January 5, 2015
Subject: Unbelievable!
I'm sitting here with a new friend who we discovered we were both at this concert! I was 17 and remember the beautiful smell of refer constantly in the air and the acid tents all over the place. I cant believe there is footage here from that concert. Incredible!! Still live in Boston. Cant wait to view anything from that day.
Reviewer: hitmeister - - June 26, 2014
Subject: Not Bob Marley
This was a great show, but it was Roy Ayers, not Bob Marley, who opened the show. Patti Smith played second, and then the Dead.
Reviewer: ppicster - - March 6, 2013
Subject: I remember the biker...and other stuff
Not my first show but first show dosed so first real show. 16 years old, went w/older taper friends. Snuck in the gear, got good position, set it up, they left me to watch shit, paper started working and man...found out that day I'm not a taper. Can't sit still or mind counters, even flip tapes. Ha Ha! Ended up towards back but yeah that biker went all the way through the audience from back to stage. The Angels were there. Cosmic Wimpout booth was a chill zone. New guy on keyboards did good. We weren't students, got tickets from friends. ZooMass for real!
Reviewer: Purple Gel - - October 1, 2012
Subject: Bob Marley Was Not The Warmup
Patty Smith and Roy Ayers warmed up for this show, not Bob Marley.
Reviewer: Pnhoag - - September 30, 2012
Subject: Bob Marley and the Wailers were a WARM-UP band!
Honestly, I can't believe that there are so many comments here and NOBODY has yet mentioned thatBob Marley and the Wailers were one of the WARM-UP bands! They played a great show and a year leater he was gone...
Reviewer: Bobby B - - September 8, 2012
Subject: If you were at this show as a UMass student
Then you might remember a few of the folks on this site:

This recording sounds great, thanks! This was my first show too and we had a blast.

Hope to see you there,
Reviewer: jjg4762 - - August 3, 2012
Subject: 1st show
I keep coming back looking for upgrades to this show. it too was my 1st show. What a day it was. I did not know much about a band i would soon come to love and play a HUGE part of my life. To me the sound is good the song selection is good and the day will always be very special to me. To the day
Reviewer: rbmunkin - - October 29, 2011
Subject: Umass - those were the days! Dead show - average.
Hey Mars 12345: "I was a sophmore at UMASS living in Cance and spending lots of time in Pierpont for those who remember the days in Southwest."

Maybe we ran into each other. I lived in Pierpont. Those were the days!

I have to say, though, after listening to this umass Dead show, it's pretty low key and low energy compared to earlier shows in the '70's. Music Hall 1976! Englishtown 1977! Much much much better shows. But umass sure was fun!
Reviewer: Mars12345 - - April 28, 2011
Subject: Wondrous Day
I was a sophmore at UMASS living in Cance and spending lots of time in Pierpont for those who remember the days in Southwest. The Dead and Patti Smith together were like an ultimate dream. I do remember how wasted Patti was, but most of us weren't that far behind. I was right up front for Patti and then moved further back to be with the rest of my group to groove to The Dead. The vibe and atmosphere is hard to duplicate. The exhilaration, excitement and joy have stayed with me all these years.
Reviewer: Rat_in_a_Drainditch - - June 22, 2009
Subject: Oversized Tires from Rhode Island
Ah ha how I remember this show! We drove up from Rhode Island in my buddy Dave's old Fiat that had oversized tires on the back. Every time we hit a bump the tires would rub against the wheel well and the car would shudder. We got there the night before the show and partied in the parking lot along with hundreds of other deadheads. I remember well the pieces of paper with the blue roses on them, oh how they made the show so great. I remember the biker very well, he drove right next to us and made his way to the front like he was the king of the show. The show was great I especially remember the space into the Fade Away into the Stella Blue. On the ride home we gave another person a ride home which didn't hepl the car or tires much. A trip I will always remember.
Reviewer: Bart001 - - June 20, 2009
Subject: My first Dead show
This was my first Dead show (I was a sophomore at UMass at the time). The prior reviewer must have let the years fog his memory -- the weather was far from beautiful. It threatened rain all day, was quite overcase, and did indeed start to drizzle just as the show ended. The weather for the next year's Spring Concert was much different; the Allmans played on a quite hot and sunny day, leading to a lot of drinking in the crowd and ultimately the cancellation of the next year's concert (to be cleverly re-branded "Community Day" and turn out to be a concert after all!).
Reviewer: MayAllSentientBeings - - March 8, 2009
Subject: Ah, UMass Spring Fling ...
What a treat it was to be a complete and utter DeadHead and have the band at our own Spring Fling. I was a Freshman at UMass that year (Baker dorm), and friends with couple of the students on the booking committee who were also DeadHeads, and who booked the show. We were completely freaked!!!! I'm trying to remember how many classes I cut that semester from the sheer bong-fueled anticipation (probably more than I went to, judging by my grades that year ... ) I thought having Patti Smith was also brilliant. (Not so warmly received by the rest of the crowd, though.) This was the highlight of our year (pinned up against the front as we were : ) beautiful Spring day, just perfect weather, and I almost cried listening to Stella Blue just now for starters before having to drizzle all over the page right now. I do have a vague recollection of the biker. I also have photos somewhere of Patti Smith hanging off of the stage if anyone's so inclined. Anyway, thank you for this. What an unexpected delight.
Reviewer: EventerMom - - November 27, 2008
Subject: My first show ...
And boy does this bring back memories ... so happy to find this show online!
Reviewer: gilamonster58 - - August 22, 2008
Subject: An interesting time
I don't remember Patti Smith falling off the stage but I do remember she was wrapped up in this huge coat and a floppy hat and she told a long rambling story of her first Dead show, the crux of which was that she somehow got backstage and wound up getting tossed off the stage by a Hell's Angel. I don't remember the biker that others alluded too but me and my friends were happily spread out on blankets in the back of the crowd on the field. I also remember the sun coming out briefly when the Dead came on and it pouring like hell after the show. Thanks to those unknown UMass students who loaned us their IDs!
Reviewer: fuzzbutt again - - August 15, 2008
Subject: from the boston phoenix
It’s true that the entire character of Causeway Street used to change when the Deadheads invaded the Garden for the band’s multi-night stands. Fenway Recordings head Mark Kates was at a lot of those shows, but the one he remembers best happened at UMass Amherst, with the proto-punk Patti Smith Group of all bands also on the bill. “The idea of the Dead playing in a stadium with Patti Smith at that time was just too amazing. I remember at a certain point that the fences were broken down and UMass was world renowned as a party school. And this is 1979, when everything was just looser. I guess to me that band at that school at that time was a fairly ultimate event. The bill was just very special. The Dead came out and did their thing, and it was great.”
Reviewer: sizhla - - July 22, 2008
Subject: Heynow
This is Definitely a hot one. And Fuzz, I absolutely love hearing stories like yours.
Reviewer: losdos - - January 29, 2008
Subject: Patty Smith
I wasn't a student but I was at this show. I was 20 years old and had a really great time. I drove in from Long Island, NY. Does anybody remember Patty Smith falling off of the stage because she was really drunk? I thought to myself at the time, "it's only 11:00am and she's that messed up"? Again, does anybody remember this??
Reviewer: fuzzbutt - - April 30, 2007
Subject: my first dead show
i was 15 & me and my friend jim morrisson (not the doors guy) hitch-hiked to amherst from prep school over in marion, mass. we had a bag of brown weed with seeds & not too much $$. what an adventure. after several rides we got picked up by a VW van full of deadheads (real freaks back then; 1-2 yrs later it was a different scene) and made it to campus. got some guys to buy our beers for us at the store & then slept in an academic bldg. next to the towers...

we got tickets the next morning (what a relief) and inside the open air stadium. i couldnt believe i was actually going to see them. i remember some guy chugging juice from a plastic bottle & everyone chanting "go go go". then he turned and threw up.

it was a pretty good show, i9 have nothing to add to the comments below. but what a VIBE! outside in the spring air, the rain didnt matter. college kids were different in those days: they actually partied in the 70s, and this was the tail end. the next year everything seems to have changed.

later at the show i ran into my older brother. he was tripping and wearing a plastic bag. after, he took us to a party at the dorms & they had a tape of the show.

sorry if this wasn't interesting to read but it was a very special weekend for me. does it ever get any better than when you're 15 y.o.?
Reviewer: zuke - - February 17, 2006
Subject: The Dead at UMASS!!!!
I was up against the wall, couldn't move and the crowd would move and I got picked up off my feet and then I'd be like 2 or 3 people from the wall,next I'm hearing an engine revving and turn to see this dude on a chopper, he had Hell's Angles colors on so nobody messed with him, Bob Weir kept giving him a look and shaking his head in disapproval, no cans or bottles allowed so everybody had plastic jugs filled with vodka etc., this one dude who had hair down past his ass, completely shitfaced was hassling people to drink from his jug, people were getting annoyed and started pushing him away, it was soooo packed it was ineffective and he continued to rave, the next time I see him he is being hauled up over the wall,( probably 8 ft since it was made of plywood), by the security from the other side of the wall, by his hair- backwards, like back down scraped over the top of a sheet of plywood, kicking and flailing, no shirt on either, BTW the Umass football team was doing the security after that I retreated to the safety of the stands....
Reviewer: sportdeath - - December 4, 2005
Subject: What a long strange trip that was!
We drove out from Boston in a rental car that looked and drove like a white whale. Gates opened at 10 AM, Roy Ayers ubiquity came on at 11:30, followed by Patty Smith, followed by the Dead. The concert was supposed to be limited to U Mass students, so there were legions of fans without tickets... when the Dead came on, some of them tore down part of the fence, and they all streamed onto the field. We were sitting at about the 50 yard line and it was really weird watching as all these people tried to make their way up front... including a guy on a motorcycle, stoned out of his mind, who ran over the leg of the guy next to me, and when the guy yelled, backed up and did it again!

You can find a scan of the flier for the event at
Reviewer: GreenBuilt - - July 24, 2005
Subject: It Was an Amazing Concert and a Beautiful Day!
A dozen friends and I walked to and from this show! The air was electric...there was light rain up until the Dead came on stage, and then the clouds broke and the sun shone down on the stadium! Amazing concert! The quality of this recording is reasonably good. And I remember that biker...I can still picture him today...he looked totally wasted and almost ran me over...
Reviewer: casisbelly - - May 25, 2005
Subject: Trippin at the zoo
ZOO MASS. What a beutiful day for early may in New England. I'm writing this review on May 24th and there is a Nor'easter banging against my windows as I write. I live in Boston and this day at Amherst was another one for the record books. I think I threw the frisbee for six straight hours before Patti Smith stepped on stage. I was drinking from a gallon jug of Who knows what. All I remember is a very loud Harley Davidson and Jerry's hair in pig-tails. And some chick asked me to put her on my shoulders to see this new guy on keyboards. I don't remember much music, but this recording is as good as it gets. Thanks
Reviewer: Vince325 - - May 1, 2005
Subject: Remember the Biker?
I was up front for this one. Does anyone remember when the guy on the Harley came all the way up to the front wall? That was freakin nuts!
Reviewer: mountainview - - March 13, 2005
Subject: Patti Smith set?
Anyone have the opener Patti Smith Group set? Just curious...
Reviewer: dcain - - August 24, 2004
Subject: good audience recording
The drummers clearly push the pace, beginning in the first sung verse. It opens sprightly, and there is some merriment in Garcia's lines. Good sound, not too much audience.
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